Surprising, little-known facts about the British royal family – Insider

According to Time, signatures aren’t allowed for fear of fraud, but Meghan Markle has finessed her way around that rule before in her early days of public appearances with Prince Harry.
The family also is discouraged from taking selfies, but this is apparently due to Queen Elizabeth’s disapproval of the trend rather than a security risk or tradition.
She graduated with a degree in art history from the University of St. Andrews (the same university as Prince William) in 2005.
As of her wedding in 2011, she was the only royal bride to earn a degree, but not anymore. Her sister-in-law Markle graduated with degrees in theater and international studies from Northwestern University in 2003.
Trooping the Color isn’t just an excuse for the Royal Family to wear bright colors during a fancy processional. The event actually dates back to 1760 and is meant to celebrate the sovereign’s birthday with the public.
While Queen Elizabeth was born on April 21 and celebrates privately, Trooping the Color typically marks her “official” birthday, complete with a full-on parade, over 1,000 soldiers on guard, and horse-drawn carriages.
It’s difficult to imagine a world without the same royal family we know and love, but if it weren’t for King Edward VII unexpectedly abdicating the throne in 1936, there might have been a different crop of family members making headlines.
When King Edward VII voluntarily stepped down as king, his brother – and Queen Elizabeth’s father – King George VI took over, which led to Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953.
While technically Queen Elizabeth still would have become the sovereign if King Edward hadn’t stepped down, it wouldn’t have happened until 20 years later, and who knows how that would have shifted family ties?
Before 1917, the Royal Family didn’t have a last name, and were simply referred to as whatever house or dynasty to which they belonged until George V dubbed Windsor as the official family name.
When Queen Elizabeth took over as sovereign, she took it a step further: both she and Prince Philip wanted their descendants (at least those that don’t have proper royal titles like Royal Highness or Prince or Princess) to adopt the last name Mountbatten-Windsor to represent their relationship to the House of Windsor.
The royal bloodline is complicated to the begin with, but one important rule stands: the spouse of the current sovereign – in this case, the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh – never took the title of king or queen in an official capacity. 
The ruling sovereign may change give their spouse a royal title, but it’s only for ceremonial purposes and holds no weight when it comes to succession of the throne.
Not only did Prince Charles and Princess Diana have a 12-year age difference, but also he actually courted Diana’s sister, Sarah, which led him to meet his future wife and begin dating her instead.  
And not only is it budget-friendly at $9 a pop, but you can get it pretty much anywhere: Essie’s Ballet Slippers.
The Queen has been wearing the shade since 1989 and reportedly refuses to wear any other colors.
It’s clear that royals are expected to dress on the more conservative side, but Queen Elizabeth takes it a step further by having weights sewn into the hemlines of her dresses and skirts to avoid any potential indecent exposure.
While some members of the family don’t follow this rule strictly, it’s actually a preventative measure to make sure no one comes down with a nasty case of food poisoning. Better safe than sorry.
They both attended and graduated from the Royal Military Academy before joining the service.
Harry completed two tours in Afghanistan over the course of his 10 years in the Army while William spent seven years as a pilot.
The perks of being the Queen also come with some travel perks. She doesn’t have her own driver’s license or passport, even though she’s driven plenty of times and traveled to over a hundred countries.
There are documents issued in her name, but she doesn’t need to use them because there is a universal standard that she’s recognized as a monarch.
The royal family tree goes back for generations, which means several of its members actually have distant familial ties, including the Queen and Prince Philip.
The couple are actually third cousins – Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are their great-great-grandparents, who were first cousins and married in 1840.
If you ever want to drop the royals a line, you might actually get a response.
There have been several recorded cases of fans receiving replies from members of the family, some even with a bit of personalization.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama famously broke this rule back in 2009 at the G20 summit, but luckily the Queen wasn’t broken up about it.
Normally, anyone who interacts with the royals is supposed to wait for His or Her Royal Highness to initiate a handshake, and that’s all the physical contact that’s permitted.
It may be surprising that one of the longest-reigning monarchs in history pays her dues just like the rest of us, but she’s made it a point to pay taxes just like anyone else.
And while it isn’t required that she pays up, she’s done so on a volunteer basis since 1992.
While the younger generation of royals are actively involved in charitable causes like the fight against AIDS and raising awareness for mental health, none of the family members affiliate themselves with a political party – though the Queen has been known to let her leanings slip from time to time.
Prince Philip, who died on April 9 at age 99, had his body moved in a modified Land Rover instead of a standard hearse. 
The prince chose this vehicle to bear his coffin about 18 years ago. In 2019, the vehicle was done being fully modified with an open-top rear and bronzey green paint, a nod to his military roots. He served as an officer in Britain’s Royal Navy during World War II.
The late prince was a huge fan of Land Rovers and drove them for most of his life, according to the Associated Press.
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